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Best Malayalam Movies of First Half 2023: From Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam to 2018; Here is the full list – UnlistedNews

The year 2023 was mixed when it comes to Malayalam movies. Of course, there was no shortage of good and inventive cinema. But the quality of these films failed to reproduce in their box office takings. There have been fewer than five clean hits in the industry this year. But the movies that achieved commercial success turned out to be box office hits. Take for example Romancham which became the surprise hit of the year, or 2018 which became the highest grossing Malayalam film of all time.

Unfortunately, the theatrical success of these films is a conversation for another day. Right now, let’s look at the best Malayalam movies that were released in the first half of this year, in no particular order.

Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam

  • movie genre: Dramatic comedy
  • Execution time: 1h 44m
  • Movie star cast: Mammootty, Ramya Suvi, Ramya Pandian, Ashokan
  • Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery
  • Writer: S. Harish
  • Where to watch/OTT platform: Netflix
  • IMDb rating: 7.5/10

As Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam brought together a movie legend and an innovative filmmaker, people had already rated the movie highly even before watching it. Lijo Jose Pellissery and Mammootty crafted a film that wasn’t as chaotic as the filmmaker’s previous directorial ventures, but was intriguing nonetheless. Mammootty’s commanding presence hooked audiences to the screens. Pellissery, one of the most exciting film voices in the country today, did not indulge in any sort of spoon food and left the audience to think for themselves.


  • movie genre: survival thriller
  • Execution time: 2h 34m
  • Movie star cast: Tovino Thomas, Kunchacko Boban, Narain, Asif Ali, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Aparna Balamurali
  • Director: jude anthany joseph
  • Writer: Akhil P. Dharmajan, Jude Anthany Joseph
  • Where to watch/OTT platform: sony liv
  • IMDb rating: 8.5/10

The 2018 Kerala floods were a disastrous event for the people of the state. As the film was based on a real incident that impacted the lives of all the people living in Kerala, somehow, people connected with the film in an almost unprecedented way. Jude Anthany Joseph crafted a film that moved people and spoke to the emotional core of the audience. To add to its success, 2018 was also a technically strong movie.

Purusha Pretham

  • movie genre: Procedural drama, satirical comedy
  • Execution time: 2h 33m
  • Movie star cast: Alexander Prasanth, Jagadish, Darshana Rajendran, Maala Parvathi
  • Director: Krishand
  • Writer: Ajith Haridas, Manu Thodupuzha
  • Where to watch/OTT platform: sony liv
  • IMDb rating: 7.2/10

The police procedural film featured the breakout star of the year, Alexander Prasanth. The film revolves around humorous commentary on the everyday life of police officers. With the intricate characterization of her main character, SI Sebastian, Purusha Pretham was intriguing, inventive and captivating. The film is a satirical take on a serious subject, and the way the narrative was explored was unique.


  • movie genre: Drama, Thriller, Mystery
  • Execution time: 1h 52m
  • Movie star cast: Joju George, Anjali, Arya Salim, Srikant Murali
  • Director: Rohit MG Krishnan
  • Writer: Rohit MG Krishnan
  • Where to watch/OTT platform: Netflix
  • IMDb rating: 7.7/10

With Joju George in dual roles, Iratta was haunting in every sense of the word. Joju played a huge role in drawing the audience into the world of Iratta with his masterful performance. The movie keeps you wondering until the very end, and the reveal is sure to send chills down your spine. Also keep in mind that this is not a preferred watch for anyone looking for a jovial moment at the movies. Iratta is a haunting watch that is sure to make you uncomfortable.

Thank you

  • movie genre: crime drama
  • Execution time: 2h 25m
  • Movie star cast: Biju Menon, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Aparna Balamurali
  • Director: sahid arafath
  • Writer: shyam pushkaran
  • Where to watch/OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video
  • IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Thankam is written by one of the most trusted writers in Malayalam cinema right now who has consistently delivered quality content. Written by Syam Pushkaran, Thankam was an immersive watch that deserved more recognition for what it did with an intriguing central plot. The well acted and well made film revolves around the world of gold trading in Thrissur. What makes the movie even more exciting is that it is based on true events.


  • movie genre: Comedy, Horror
  • Execution time: 2h 9m
  • Movie star cast: Soubin Shahir, Arjun Ashokan, Sajin Gopu, Siju Sunny
  • Director: Jithu Madhavan
  • Writer: Jithu Madhavan
  • Where to watch/OTT platform: Disney+ hot star
  • IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Romancham may not be the most layered or intricate film on this list, but it definitely managed to connect with the Malayali audience in a way that no other film in recent times could. A relatable movie about friendship and the Ouija board struck a chord with the general audience. It was a movie made for theaters, as Romancham reminded everyone that movies are, after all, a collective experience. It’s the kind of movie you watch with your friends to have a good time and relax.

Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum

  • movie genre: Dramatic comedy
  • Execution time: 2h 51m
  • Movie star cast: Fahadh Faasil, Anjana Jayaprakash, Dhwani Rajesh, Viji Venkatesh
  • Director: akhil sathyan
  • Writer: akhil sathyan
  • Where to watch/OTT platform: Amazon Prime Video
  • IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Set in the Sathyan Anthikad universe of feel-good movies, Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum is anything but complex. That’s also the beauty of it. With the incredible comic timing of Fahadh Faasil and three wonderful female characters from three generations, the film succeeded in what it set out to achieve. Fahadh was back in his zone for Njan Prakashan and Oru Indian Pranayakadha for this one. Anjana Jayaprakash as Hamsadhwani, Dhwani Rajesh as Nidhi and Viji Venkatesh as Laila were magical in their respective roles.

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Sara Marcus
Sara Marcushttps://unlistednews.com
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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